I have with my heart a secret,
It lies fast buried there;
No human heart may know it,
Nor its treasures deep and rare.
'Tis forever smiling upon me,
Bearing my spirit away,
To bathe in the golden sunlight
Of its ever sunny day.
The green trees knew my secret
As I wandered beneath their shade,
And my heart woke up to the music
Their quiv'ring branches made.
I whispered it softly and gently,
That the waking birds may hear,
And they bore it over the valley
In a strain so sweet and clear.
To the stars in their pathless glory
I breathed it in trembling delight;
And they slowly unfolded their story
Before my enraptured sight.
The sunset o'er valley and mountain,
The dawning by fountain and stream,
Have gilded my heart's fair treasure
With many a radiant gleam.
When night with her cool, dark shadows,
Falls over a weary land,
I unfasten my heart's closed door
With an eager trembling hand,
And I bring out my precious secret,
And we commune, she and I;
And on golden wings of fancy
Through boundless regions fly.
Oh! earth's many voices, awaken,
I am thirsting to learn your song;
I am longing to mingle my secret
With your ever-musical throng.
Fain would I tune my fingers
To the chords of the mighty refrain,
And catch the sweet echoes falling
From a never-dying strain.
It needeth not always the sunshine,
Tears make it radiantly fair,
And some of its loveliest jewels
Have been planted by sorrow and care.
But often comes over me thrilling
A strange, sharp agony,
As of something for which I am yearning,
And unsatisfied ever must be.
Oh, rest thee, my heart's dear treasure!
Some day thou shalt fully know
All the joy and the bliss on thee dawning
But dimly and faintly below.
So I bear thee through clouds and through sunshine,
'Mid the world's confusion and strife,
For in thee is silently growing
An ever fresh green life.
And when, with the years ever fleeting,
My weary hands I fold,
And slumber no more to waken,
With heart and memory cold,
My secret shall rise with my spirit,
From earth-stains purified,
To pour forth its treasure for ages
At the feet of Him who died.